Thursday, October 1, 2009

Haystack '09: Part 1

(*Note: Ok, in the interest of keeping blog entries down to a reasonably digestible size, I've decided to cover Haystack in two entries; dedicating an entire entry to the class itself. So... consider this part 1!)

On top of all the other incredible experiences I got to have this summer, the season culminated with a session at Haystack Mountain School of Craft which was, as repetitive as it's starting to sound, totally amazing. Two more weeks of new friends, delicious food and astounding artwork. OH man... and the scenery!

(View from the dining hall.)

Haystack is located on the coast of Deer Isle, Maine; one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Driving there was so crazy because I started on 95 and the roads just kept getting smaller and smaller. At one point on a two-lane highway some where in the middle of Maine I passed a nut store with a giant wooden squirrel outside it. (I'm not kidding- that thing had to be at least 15ft tall...)

Because the campus is actually on a island, you have to cross 2 causeways to get there: tiny roads with water on either side. Some days the water was right up next to the pavement and the next time you'd drive by it would be so far out that you couldn't even see it. Tides are awesome.

(So is fog!)

The campus itself is composed of absolutely stunning structures. The architect designed the buildings to have as little contact with the ground as possible, so as to allow as much natural wildife as would be found an undisturbed mountainside. Which translates to an interconnected collection of dorms and classrooms that feel like they are constantly floating just above solid ground: like a New England clapboard treehouse!

(View of the dining hall from the deck of the textiles studio.)

(There were more kinds of lichen than I had ever encountered in my life! They grew everywhere- even between the floor boards.)

(Crazy stairs! Turn around for a view of the ocean...)

(Just to the right of the peninsula and straight out to sea!)

(Especially magical at nighttime: the view from outside my dorm.)

The weather was stunning. 75*- 80* during the day- warm enough to demand a daily ocean swim- and mid 40*'s at night! Perfect sleeping weather! Swimming in the ocean was freezing... most days I had to convince myself to get all the way in. But I was determined! I think I only missed 2 or 3 days out of the entire session!

(Myself and Clair at the beach.)

I could go on forever... but I'll try not to. Suffice it to say: fricken' gorgeous. And full of amazing people! Haystack is signifigantly smaller than Penland so the dynamic is a little different. Whereas I made a couple of instantly close and lasting friends at Penland, I met a ton of different people a little bit less intensely well at Haystack. Which isn't to say that I didn't come away with some (hopefully) life-long penpals and art buddies... but I felt like I met MORE people at Haystack even though there were only half as many than Penland.

(Elizabeth, book arts/pin hole photography; Anna, enameling; Joanna, knitting; Sin Nae, enameling. Ice cream on a day trip to.. uhmm... Stonigton? Some tiny Maine sea town on Deer Isle.)

(Joanna again, Jeanne and Brece: all knitting.)

(Anna, myself and Colin, husband of Janet Morton and publically elected Mayor of Haystack. Yes, I am apparently singing into a beer. ps: thanks to whoever took this photo! It is awesome.)

Although I was scholarship student, as a TA, I was lucky enough to not have to work in the kitchen or do other work study jobs. Which meant that I got to spend a little bit more time with the members of my own class.

(The whole knitting class: this photo will make infinitely more sense once you see the artwork, I promise!)

Other fun stuff we did that wasn't class related:

Went to Nervous Nellie's Jams and Jellies: the totally bizarre (but tasty!) curio and jam shop down the road from campus.

(Sin Nae and Elizabeth.)
Lobster Picnic on the rocks by the ocean!

Hot Shop Dance Parties!

Totally undescribably amazing. But the art will knock you dead. So stay tuned!

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